Half Of the Adults in Europe Are Obese

January 4, 2011 by iceslim  
Filed under Healthy diet

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European researchers have determined that right now more than half of the adults in the European Union (EU) are overweight or obese. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the European Commission, warn that continual growth in the obesity rate will skyrocket healthcare costs.

To make matters worse, the researchers also found that one in seven children are overweight or obese; putting future adults at increased risk of mortality due to obesity-related medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

In 2005, World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 1.6 billion adults, ages 15 and older, were overweight, and at least 400 million adults were obese, especially in developed countries. As for children, the WHO data from 2005 estimates 20 million children under the age of 5 years old were overweight worldwide.

Having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 and up is considered obese, below 30 is overweight.

The new report found the obesity rates in the EU has more than doubled during the past 20 years, raising concerns over healthcare spending. Previous studies have already forecasted medical costs associated with obesity, jumping by 70% between 2007 and 2015.

Findings in 2008 showed countries in the EU spent an average 8.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) on health, increasing from 7.3% in 1998.

The WHO recommends higher intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, lower intake of saturated fats and sugar, and regular exercise to help prevent obesity. Exercise should include at least 30 minutes of “moderate-intensity” activity on most days.

Image credit: Amy Mac

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